EU Member States endorse deforestation law – now the real action starts

Posted on May, 16 2023

Large and medium-sized companies have over 18 months to make their supply chains deforestation-free.

Today the Council of the European Union endorsed the deal for an EU deforestation law, reached in trilogue negotiations last December. The regulation was adopted with five abstentions, including by Sweden, which currently holds the EU presidency.

Anke Schulmeister, Senior Forest Policy Officer at WWF European Policy Office, said: “The legal text sets a strong basis,  but it is up to all EU Member States to make this legislation a success. This law needs to be duly enforced, with enough and thorough controls at national level to ensure that deforestation doesn’t sneak onto our supermarket shelves. Let’s learn from the weaknesses of the EU Timber Regulation: this time there needs to be real prosecution when rules are not complied with – no more warning letters or trial periods, only real action.”

The law has been already rubber-stamped by the Parliament and will enter into force in a few weeks, following its official signing. From that moment, large and medium-sized companies will have 18 months to get up to speed and make their supply chains deforestation-free. 

In parallel, the European Commission is conducting an impact assessment to determine whether the law will also cover other wooded land and whether it will apply to the financial sector. “The vote today is not the finish line, but part of a relay race to end EU-driven deforestation and ecosystem conversion. Now we need to roll up our sleeves to make this law work on the ground and keep on working constructively - and ambitiously- to close the remaining loopholes,” added Anke Schulmeister. 

Anke Schulmeister – Oldenhove
Senior Forest Policy Officer
+32 485 84 31 44

Alejandra Morales
Senior Communications Officer, Deforestation
+32 488 84 98 05
The new law will help the EU fight global deforestation.
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